Finding Motivation to Clean and Declutter

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Sometimes when you have to clean, finding the motivation to get going is the toughest part.

woman sitting with vacuum finding the motivation to clean

Here are some of the ways that I give my cleaning/decluttering game a boost.

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This one is not always available, but when it is sunny out, getting sunshine first thing when I wake up, opening up the curtains upstairs and down, gives such a mental boost.

Scientist think that getting sunlight cues parts of the retina to trigger the production of serotonin in the brain[1]. Serotonin is your body’s hormone that helps boost your mood, and helps you remain calm and focused. Darkness triggers the release of melatonin (which regulates your body’s circadian rhythm).

Vitamin D from sunlight also goes a long way to boost mood and low vitamin d levels have been linked to depression. [2]

[1] Healthline Benefits of Sunlight
[2] Phycological Consequences of Vitamin D deficiency.


Hydration is very important-it can effect every system in your body, including cognitive function:

This can lead to difficulty performing tasks that require attention, motor coordination, and executive function—grammatical reasoning, mental math, decision making etc. This is why it’s vital that you monitor your daily fluid intake and watch for symptoms relating to dehydration. 

Health Dispatch

Cleaning and decluttering most certainly fall under needing most of those skills.

Hydration can also effect how well you sleep, which in turn impacts your energy levels the next day.

Did you know that thirst is often one of your body’s last symptoms of dehydration?

For more ideas to help you stay hydrated, you can check out this post on hydration.

Timers and Breaks

Using timers can help you focus on a task, gives you a sense of how long tasks take, and lets you look back at what you have accomplished in your set time.

One popular method is the Pomodoro method.

You set a timer for 25 minutes, focusing on ONE task, blocking out distractions. At the end of your timer, you take a 5 minute break.

Now, you may not be able to do 25 minutes all of the time, but set a timer and work for 5-10 minutes. You will see improvement-and possibly kick yourself for not doing small tasks sooner.

Star With Visable/Quick Wins

I really enjoy the podcast, A Slob Comes Clean. She gets me.

One things she talks about is using the visibility rule. Working on visible spaces.

We will not be faced with the contents of the hall closet as we enter the house, nor will the junk draw be as visible as the kitchen table.

Seeing progress made spurs you on to make more of a difference. It builds momentum.

Put on Music While You Clean

This study out of the University of Birmingham in England, linked music to “effective in raising efficiency” “during the performance of repetitive work”.

Put some up-beat songs (shown to boost focus and mood) and clean away!

I did have a cleaning play list in Google Play Music, but it has been taken away and I have not found a decent substitute yet.

Diffuse Some Oils to Boost Your Energy and Mood

I have share before how essential oils can boost your mood and energy.

My favorites for getting a jump on the day are lemon and grapefruit.

Get my printable of Mood and Energy Boosting Essential Oil Chart here.

Have a Plan/Schedule When You Clean

“Remember, if you fail to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

H.K. Williams

When you have no idea what you are doing it can all seem overwhelming.

The Pinterest is full of schedules for daily, weekly, and monthly cleaning. Clean Mama has some good ones that I use.

Having a plan eliminates the need to constantly think about what to do next, and lessens the chances that you will forget something important.

You can use an app like Todist or Google Tasks to help you keep up with tasks and also set them to repeat at certain intervals (daily, weekly, monthly, etc).

Crossing off goals is a great motivator!

Next ONE Thing

As a mom of four littles that are all within five years of each other, I know it can be daunting to get stuff done.

One of the best pieces of advice I have ever received was passed along by my friend Janet.

“When you don’t know what to do next, just do the thing in front of you.”

Elisabeth Elliot

Toys on the floor? have the children help pick them up if they are able. Set a timer for five minutes and work.

Spend five minutes tidying the bathroom or kitchen.

Recently I read a post talking about ideals over better than nothing.

30 seconds brushing your teeth is better than not doing it at all. 5 minutes picking up is better than no time spent at all. There are times we must give ourselves grace and give what we can.

These little wins can snowball into more progress made.

Remember Who You Are Serving

Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord and not for people, knowing that it is from the Lord that you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. 

Colossians 3:23-24

When we are elbow deep in dishes, knee deep in laundry, or have a to-do list a mile long, it is easy to lose sight of our why.

Caring for our families is our greatest calling as moms, and we are told to offer ourselves as living sacrifices.

Doing the dishes can be just as much an act of worship as singing in church with hands lifted high if we offer it up that way in our hearts.

We are making our homes for His glory.

What motivates you to clean/declutter?

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